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Piraat - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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2,137 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,137
Reviews: 986
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 12.32%
Wants: 84
Gots: 199 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-07-2001

A robustly bitter strong Belgian pale ale.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,137 | Reviews: 986 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rudgers73
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wine glass. It fills the glass about half-way with a cloudy, melon-amber color. There is about 1/4 inch of head that was produced by a relatively easy pour. It slowly begins to fade as it sets and it turns into blotchy swirls. It smells like strong sweet malts, grassy hops, and candi sugar. This smells a lot like St. Bernardus Watou Tripel. There is a creamy aspect to the smell that I think is produced by a very delicate balance of the malt used and the yeast. I like the flavor quite a bit. It is strong and sweet, the alcohol provides undertones of tart fruits that give it a sweet white wine dimension. The maltiness provides a strong base for the slightly bitter and grassy hops to build a bridge to the fruity alcohol. This is a well made, and extremely well balanced beer that gets better as it warms. The alcohol becomes more apparent, but I enjoy the level of fusel alcohol present. It's a kid reminder that this beer will kick your ass if your aren't careful.

Photo of elmore
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 11.2 oz into a Piraat snifter.

A: brisk pour produced a nice white 2 finger head that receded fairly quick and left some nice lacing. Golden, slightly opaque with some yeast sediment.

S: lots of yeast, citrus, spices, alcohol with a little malt sweetness.

T: yeasty with a hint of sweet malt and light fruits (maybe pineapple and apricots) with a very peppery, spicy aftertaste, which I beleive is imparted by the hops - not what I typically get from a belgian ale - I like it. Pleasant alcohol warmness that nicely compliments the complex spices.

M: light crisp, high carbonation, effervescent.

D: very drinkable for the high content.

Very good beer. I really like the spicy hop aftertaste. It sets this beer apart from the other pale belgian ales I have had.

Photo of irishkyle21
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

For a Belgian beer with high abv most are very drinkable. I found that Piraat does not fall into that category. Its pours with a light fluffy head, decent retention and lacing. Has a slightly hazy golden color.

Smells nice, notes of sweet fruits, yeasty spices, licorice, pale malt and rather boozy.

Tastes of sweet fruits, pale malt, has a very noticeable and warming alcohol and a bit of a bite at the back of the mouth. This is a sipper.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled this on tap at the map room before and thought I'd try it in bottle form. 750mL bottle poured into a chalice.

A: Pours a clear and bright copper with a rocky white head that just looks super sticky (leaves a nice bit of lacing down the sides of the chalice) nice and active carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the chalice.

S: Initally yeasty but citrus notes come in a bit later

T/MF: Not quite the same as on tap but that very familiar pineapple and honey combination is unmistakeable. There is also a remarkably pleasing heat to this beer that I normally would find offputting in beers, but it compliments the end spices of this beer quite nicely. The hops coupled with a vigourous carbonation impart a remarkable mouthfeel to this beer, that at first feels a bit watery but expands broadly across the pallate.

D: I love this beer, in this style this beer is excelent and one of the best I've had in recent memory, a very nice beer for a very nice time of year, truely magnificent.

Photo of Mandrake
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright and clear medium gold, with a massive, rocky head that lasts very well and leaves spectacular lacing. Smell is bold and hoppy, the alcohol showing slightly as well. Spicy, cloves and pepper in the mix alongside the citrus and crackers. Taste is strong and upfront. Big hop bitterness is obvious, but there's more here as well. Spices and banana, light yeastiness and a hint of alcohol sweetness in the finish. Mouthfeel is full-bodied and with loads of carbonation, and drinkability is pretty good. I love it, it's raw and ballsy with loads of character.

Photo of ElGordo
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Body is a bright golden-orange color, topped by a huge, fluffy white head that leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet pale malt, light floral hops, spicy yeast, and more than a little alcohol. Palate is sweet pale malt up front, with light notes of tropical fruit and confectioner's sugar. Light floral hops and the spicy Belgian yeast emerge before the swallow, before the sweet, slightly peppery finish.
Body is full and a bit creamy, with only a touch of stickiness. The finish is rather dry and very warming. While this isn't the easiest-drinking beer around, it is quite pleasant for slowly sipping over the course of an hour or so.

Photo of Cs1987
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Almost four fingers of bubbly head, despite slow and careful pour into a pint mug. The head reduced fairly quickly. Darkish amber in colour.

Smell - Strong, with molasses and mild fruit characters.

Taste - Tastes like a quality dark ale, despite the colour and style. Strong and sweet, with caramel, molasses and mild fruity tastes.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation, great aftertaste.

Drinkability - The alcohol is well hidden enough not to put you off.

Overall - Just an excellent IPA overall, although it is a fair bit sweeter than other IPAs I have tried, suggesting it probably should be in a different category (probably Belgian Strong Pale Ale). I personally prefer Unibroue Maudite, which is a dark ale, but tastes fairly similar to Piraat.

Photo of Graham5161986
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a cloudy, light golden colour with a massive, three finger rocky head that just doesn’t quit, leaving a beautiful sticky lace. Champagne-like carbonation bubbles!

S: smells of crisp apples and floral hops with a nice yeast character

T: wonderfully crisp fruity and floral hop taste with tones of banana, apple, citrus, and a spiciness on the finish. Leads to a pleasant, subtly hoppy lingering aftertaste.

M: light to medium bodied. Very strong carbonation and noticeable alcoholic bite but an incredibly clean and smooth finish.

D: This is a fantastic example of a finely brewed Belgian pale ale. It’s incredibly crisp and refreshing and delightfully smooth to drink despite the 9% ABV (it hides the alcohol very well). Very well crafted with elegantly balanced flavours. It’s well hidden 9% ABV makes this one highly drinkable – so be careful! I can’t wait till my next one.

Photo of travolta
2.53/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Large pillowy head with minimal retention. Head swirls back up easily. Lightly hazy orange in color. Mild lacing.

Malt, candied fruit, slight alcohol at the end.

Mixed between mild hops and malt at first. Alcohol sweeps in and changes everything. Malt and mild hops tries to linger through the alcohol.

Nothing exceptional fights the alcohol in this ale. The alcohol is overpowering with no reward, minus the obvious.

Photo of DIM
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Decanted carefully to leave sediment behind. Pale gold and slightly hazey. Huge frothy white head that quickly fades. 100% flat in half an hour.

s: Earthy spicy yeast and alcohol are the most prevelant. Some sweetness and grapefruit/lemon also noted. Lots of fun to decipher

t: The yeast flavors suggest sweet cloves. Lightly floral hops with a bit of pepper. A warming alcohol blankets everything.

m: Before going flat this beer is effervescent and leaves a pleasant tingle in its wake. It goes flat too quickly however.

d: One day is plenty, but one everyday would be fine with me.

Photo of jbsteiny
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! I remember not being very impressed by this the first time around, but I had this first thing a couple of Wednesdays ago, and judging by my notes, I was quite taken by it.

Hazy gold with large, thick head. Aggressive aromas of honey, floral-citrus (like a tropical flower or fruit -- honeysuckle pineapple), bread dough, yeast funk, and alcohol, but somehow it worked perfectly. Very tasty as well -- definitely a big beer, but it justifies its punch with a delicious mix of flavors. Further research is required, and I will be trying this again soon.

Photo of Ranic
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: One word: foam. But, beneath that the beer was a beautiful golden color. The head took a minute or two to reduce down to a drinkable level, but it left a lingering lace around the side of the glass.

Smell: Citrus, spices, and hops. It smells very refreshing and surprisingly not particularly alcoholic.

Taste: Tastes like it smells basically, citrus, spices, and hops. It's slightly boozy, but for 10.5% it's hidden fairly well. It's very crisp and refreshing, relatively light and has a very pleasant sweetness to it with some hoppy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with tiny bubbles. The thick layer of foam is very nice and light.

Drinkability: I could drink this all night. It's very flavorful and refreshing even as it warms up. I think this is now one of my preferred relaxation beers. I'm definitely looking forward to having this again.

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Drab and cloudy pear colored brew with a sudsy off white colored head. Fairly straight forward.

S: Dried hay, daisies, zesty yeast, little bit of pineapple and yellow apple.

T: Mostly grassy with small amount of sweetness. Minor lemon juice with a good amount of honey moments. Fairly dry overall with some saison aspects. The alcohol is really strong and quite unbalanced. Finishes slightly cloying with lingering spicyness across the tongue.

M: Medium body with a straight forward mouthfeel.

D: I didn’t like this beer nearly as much as I previously have.

Photo of Floydster
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a goblet at the Yard House in Rancho Cucamonga

Pour was a nice golden color but with a slighty darker hint, poured next to a Stone Pale Ale and looked much more darker and cloudy, also left lacing throughout

Smell was full of different fruits, banana, apricot, lemon, and orange, malts came to the nose through the 1/2 inch head that stood its ground for a while

Taste was nice and definitely had some Belgian qualities while being on the pale ale side as well, not thick and heavy like most Belgians and no overpowering sweetness, smooth and a nice finish where you recognize some of its alcohol

Could have drank at least three or four more of these small 10 ounce pours, looking forward to trying the triple IPA by Piraat next, had this beer twice now, once in bottle and on tap, and the draft really shows why it is a great Belgian, tastes much smoother and does not disappoint

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let's try this one again...

11.2 oz bottle, buccaneer on the label, poured into an authentic Piraat tulip glass.

Bright golden hue, highly hazed, under neath a large, booming, puffy white head.

Aroma: citrus and sour greets the nose first. Funky and fierce. Wowzers. Straw, lemon, honey, and pepper. Spicy.

A blast in the mouth, flush with fruit and dazzling spice. Big, juicy sweetness. Getting bigger, sweeter and hotter as we go in. Bodies a bit too thin to support all this, though...I could really go for some malt.

Looking at my 4 1/2 year old review, I have to wonder what was up with that bottle...or me...
This is nice stuff, but a bit out of wack. And it gets warmer and warmer, the flavor calming down, honey and lemon meets big, fat booze andbitter hops . Wish I could taste a few more things here, though...like malt and yeast.

Drink up, ye mateys! Arrr! Shiver me timbers! Avast! hoist the mizzen mast!


Photo of callmemickey
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Solid cream-white head atop a amber-gold body.The head clings to the glass like soap suds.

S: Belgian yeast with lemon and honey tones. A hint of spice and hop bitterness.

T: Hops, honey, citrus, a touch of yeast and a touch of alcohol... rather fantastic... note... my rating might be a tad high due to nostalgic sensations... but i think its a fantastic brew.

M: Smooth, hearty and a tad bubbly.

O: The first time I had this years ago the bar tender said to me 15 minutes before last call "You want to end your night with this..." he gave a Piraat and there haven't been any truer words!

Photo of dwilkins
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This darker than most Belgian blondes and certainly less hazy. The head is large, but not huge. Once it subsides it seems to replenish and remains throughout the glass. Nice lace too.

S - Again not quite as one-sided as most blondes. A good mix of dried (apircotty) aroma along with something like fresh citrus, but I'm not sure what.

T - Much further back on the tongue than I'm used to with this style - no sour regions were tickled, almost all in the bitter region, but not a hoppy taste (?) It was a godd thing.

M - Medium bodied, not a "disolve into foam" feeling - very nice.

D - Extraordinary. I like it a whole lot. However, it seems a little darker and more bitter than the Belgian blonde style should be.
The carbonation is incredible - not overdone, persistent and yet not overpowering.

Photo of 2wheeledpirate
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a Hazy orange with not much head. Nose is very subtle, but still present. No big surprise on taste, it's a very typical belgian. Light carbonation seems appropriate. The biggest thing I noticed about this beer is the alcohol. It is very easy to find in the flavor of each drink and at 10.5% it finds you quickly too. Personally I wish the alcohol was a little more "hidden" in theother flavors of the beer. Still an excellent choice when looking for something to relax with and sip on.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The head on this thing is monstrous! The creamy beige foam is currently at five fingers plus with only a few ounces in the snifter. This has been in my beer fridge for over a month, I didn't knock it around before I poured, and I poured relatively gently! The beast takes it's sweet time shrinking to a luscious two fingers, and forms a mashed potato mesa in the middle of the glass ("This means something.") Lots of dry white lace sticks to the glass, and the brew beneath the beast is a cloudy tangerine orange hue. I can see chunky sea monkeys of lace floating around in there too.

S - Creamy yeast is the first thing I smell, with loads of sour-cream freshness and an abundance of fresh summer fruits. Mango, melon, kiwi, tangerine, apricots (both fresh and dried), and some banana. The alcohol is remarkably well hidden, but I can feel it in my nose if I stick my nose in the glass and snort like a coke-head. I don't really catch any major hop notes like I though I would...it's smells more like Orval or a Westmalle tripel than an IPA or even an American pale ale.

T - Sweet, luscious and fresh with loads of fruit (just like the nose), and chock-full of sweet bready bakery malt flavors. Honeydew melon, and dried apricots drizzled in honey. I'm reminded of honeycomb cereal also....maybe even with honey on top. The hops here are a little more prevalent than in the nose, but they aren't any more powerful than any other pale Belgian style. This is actually a malt-focused beer IMO. In fact, I've had hoppier tripels...it still tastes excellent, but I was expecting something unique from a "Belgian IPA."

M - Honey-thick and viscous in the mouth with lively champagne carbonation that helps keep the full oily body from being too heavy. Sugar coats the palate after swallowing, and the nice alcohol astringency and herbal bitterness reminds me of gin.

D - This is IMO nothing other than a good BSPA. Why is it listed as a Belgian IPA and called an "Amber Triple IPA" under the title? This is a damn fine beer that reminds me of the interesting Atomium that I had a few weeks ago in that it's main flavor component seems to be honey and sweet summer fruits. Although it doesn't stand out in any way, it's a really nice and boozy (but still fresh and breezy) Belgian.

Photo of bitterthebetter
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden brown in color, fruity (citrus and floral) and yeasty on the nose, with corresponding flavors, subtle hops on the finish. Hops develops over time with reminants of typical Belgian yeast. Not a trace of the alcohol, well brewed. Great Belgian for beginners to try, and beer drinkers will enjoy its nuances and lasting flavor

Photo of biking4beer
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into my Yeti Goblet

This beer pours a nice hazy golden color with a big froth head that leaves nice lacing. It has a nice glow to it.

The first thing I smell is a solid nose of Belgian yeast followed up by a sweet spicyness. Grassy and a little bit of corriander. A solid alcohol smell.

Taste is pretty boozy. Belgian yeast, honey, candy.

Moderate body with a high level of carbonation that works for this style.

It's a decent beer. It's definitely worth a try, but it's just a bit too boozy and it doesn't really fit well with the other flavors. I'm glad I had a friend to share this bottle with.

Photo of Thanby
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Massive (about four finger), creamy white head that actually made it difficult to pour. Clear, slightly amber honey with lots of carbonation. Head leaves a soapy lacing around the glass.

Smells distinctly of lemon, honey and butter, with a hint of grains in the background. A simple combination that produces a wonderfully enticing scent.

Honey, butter, hops, finishes off with a slightly sour citrus and hops. Burns a little from the huge ABV, but isn't estery at all. There are also overtones of smooth Belgian yeast that permeate the whole experience.

Very warming, and surprisingly smooth for being so hoppy and having such a high ABV. You only notice after you swallow. Very light, not syrupy at all. Simply a pleasure to drink. I've (previously) gone through an entire 750 of this in one night and it made me feel really warm and cozy. Overall a great experience.

I personally prefer to drink it just below room temp, but honestly it tastes good no matter what.

If you see a bottle of this around somewhere it's a must-try, at least once. They also make a nifty tulip glass for it that has the Piraat logo screened on the side.

Photo of BucBasil
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a tulip glass from the bottle. Pure white head was 2 fingers thick after a relatively hard pour. Brew is a clear dark gold to orange color. Soapy lacing is not very strong.

Smell: Citrus with a touch of honey. Sweet, fresh light fruits are evident as well. Has a hint of cinnamon.

Taste: Citric as first glance, but not sweet citrus. Sourish, but in a good way, like grapefruit. Nice creamy honey in the middle along with a bit of an alcohol burn. Finishes dry with a yeasty, hoppy character and a clean aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Champagne mouthfeel and heavy carbonation dies out after a few seconds, leaving a light and creamy pleasant sensation.

Drinkability: Even at 10.5% I’ve downed 4 of these in a sitting before during a Bucs game. Not the best decision in the world, and I was feeling it at the end, but boy did it make losing the game easier to bear.

Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Eulogy in Philly.

I don't know about the IPA part, but it was still a good strong pale Belgian. There was a rich, bread dough and fruit malt flavor, similar to a paler barleywine or DIPA. he malt was followed up by some yeasty sweetness and funky yet tropical? hops. It's tasty and different - gotta love that.

Photo of dogger6253
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick, white head. Carbonation bubbles. Orange-golden color, hazy. Decent lacing left behind.

Cloves and banana jump out of the aroma coupled with hops, lemon and oak. There is also an overall wheaty or bready scent.

I wasn't surprised to find banana and clove in the taste, I didn't really expect to find grapes, dates and apricots though, that was a pleasant surprise. A little bit of alcohol comes in, wheat, a little hops and spice. The taste is great.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation, very smooth and highly drinkable. Very tasty too, such a good beer.

Piraat from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
91 out of 100 based on 2,137 ratings.